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Hi Everyone,
The latest DVD in Kasparov's How to Play the Najdorf series is out, retailing at 39.99€. This third DVD is unsurprisingly quite watchable: not only does Kasparov cover a number of very important positions and strategic concepts, but he is never afraid to give his opinion on a variation. The subject matter is the topical 6 Be3 (all of 6...e5 7 Nb3, 6...e6 7 g4, 6...e6 7 f3 and 6...Ng4 are covered), and the DVD is both longer than the two on 6 Bg5 and comes with a most useful database of all ChessBase's games with 6 Be3 (including the annotated ones).

Download PGN of June '07 Open Sicilian games

Najdorf [B90 to B99]

We begin this month by examining a very topical position after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 f3 Nbd7 9 Qd2 Be7 10 0-0-0 0-0 11 g4 b5 12 g5 b4 13 Ne2 Ne8:

This variation has only really become popular since Kasparov's retirement in early 2005, but the great man appears to give it his seal of approval on his new DVD. In Lopez Martinez - Womacka we examine both 14 Ng3 and 14 h4, while in Movsesian - Hracek White's main move, 14 f4, is covered.

White doesn't have to meet 6...e5 with 7 Nb3. Indeed 7 Nf3 remains quite popular and Nisipeanu's favourite 7 Nde2 has also been receiving some attention. However, Nisipeanu himself recently got nowhere with it against Topalov after 7...Be6 8 f4 g6, and Black can also play 7...Be7 8 Ng3 g6, as indeed he successfully did in Matlakov - Makarov:

Najdorf: 6 Be3 Ng4

This line remains in the shadow of the extremely popular 6...e5, but is still used by Gelfand from time to time. It also featured in Karjakin - Grischuk in which White introduced a big novelty after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 Ng4 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bh4 g5 9 Bg3 Bg7 10 h3 Ne5 11 f3 Nbc6 12 Bf2 Ng6 13 Qd2 Qa5 with 14 Nd5!, simply going after the rook on a8:

Najdorf: 6 Be3 e6

Just like 6...Ng4, this is currently not receiving too much attention due to the whims of fashion.

However, it remains quite viable. Smirnov - Hillarp Persson features some coverage of recent developments in the English Attack, while Diermair - Doric is devoted to the Perenyi Attack and especially to 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e6 7 g4 e5 8 Nf5 h5!?:

which didn't turn out too well for White here.

Classical Scheveningen [B85]

Another opening in the news at the moment, due to the Grischuk-Rublevsky match, is the classical Scheveningen with ...a6. This can come about via a number of move orders, including Rublevsky's Taimanov preference: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 Qc7 7 0-0 Nf6 8 Be3 Be7 9 f4 d6 10 a4 0-0 11 Kh1 Re8:

Grischuk twice plumped for the main line with 12 Bf3, gaining an advantage after 12...Bd7 but not after 12...Bf8, as we'll see in Grischuk - Rublevsky. Another critical option is 12 Bd3, as essayed in Jakovenko - Volokitin.

Next month we'll have a look at some developments in the classical Scheveningen without ...a6, as well as seeing what Black's up to in the Keres Attack.

Until then, Richard


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